MBP 13" VS 15" Displays - Current Gen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ryanflucas, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. ryanflucas macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm in the market for a Macbook Pro and I went to an Apple Store today to see the differences between a 13" and a 15". Essentially the same 'guts' inside but I did notice how much brighter the 15" screen was in comparison to the 13". Enough so that the employee seemed to think it was strange and pulled another new one and also a refurb unit to compare. In all cases the 15" screen was brighter then the 13" current gen, previous gen, and in comparison to the air.

    Is this just a fluke or in your experiences, is the current gen's 15" display about 25% brighter then the current gen 13" model? I was all for only buying the 13" but it seemed so dim in comparison that I'll probably go for the 15". We did adjust the brightness settings and all units were running on ac power. I have really good eyesight (no glasses or contacts) so maybe I'm just sensitive to it. In my opinion the 13" in comparison to the 15" looked dim like when you run a laptop straight from battery power instead of being on ac.

    Thoughts? :apple:
  2. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    That wouldn't really surprise me... as a general rule of thumb, the bigger notebook screens are typically just better than their smaller siblings... on that note though, the 13" is still pretty bright.
  3. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I WAS in the market for a 13" myself when i went to BestBuy today to check it out. My mind was still open to the 15" as well.

    After playing with both of them, i noticed the 15" was somewhat brighter as well. That and other little things made the 13" seem inferior and made my choice clear.

    Entry level 15" for me. :)

    I'll upgrade to 4 GB RAM and 500 GB HDD as well.
  4. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    The 15" is in fact brighter than the 13" but not 25%, the 15" is only 2 notches brighter which equates to about 5%. I think Apple designed the 13" to be a little less brighter due to the battery in order for it to achieve the 7 hour battery life. Not a huge deal. I have the 13" MBP and it's plenty bright enough in highly lit rooms and outdoors. Don't allow the comparison to prevent you from buying the 13". If you compare the old (pre-unibody) Macbook Pros to all the new ones you would think they were dim and not as rich in color.
  5. g3funk macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2008
    17 and 13 are an obvious pairing in my mind. However if I had a Mac desktop or a desktop in general I would jump on the entry level 15...just makes sense.
  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Could the Ambient Light Sensor been setup differently on the different models, wouldn't that make a difference?
  7. ryanflucas thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    The two original units - the 13" and the 15" Pro's were 1ft apart from each other. We slid them as close together as we could without setting off the alarms for moving them. But the actual 'setup' of the sensors I don't know about. It was a big difference though, even when standing back 6ft and standing directly in front of one and then moving in front of the other.
  8. oregon2 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    By entry level 15", you don't mean the one without the graphics card, do you? That one is the biggest scam in the whole apple store!
  9. hr10 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    Agree. I have both 13" and 15" June 2009 model. 15" screen is brighter and the speaker is much better.
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Apple shows an outright evil genius in upselling computers. Their top end laptops have always had better screens than their entry level models, period. It may come down to hardware and design limitations as much as cost, who knows? Given the choice, it would much rather sell you a $1700 or $2400 system than a $1200 one.

    THAT said, the difference between entry level and higher priced systems is probably the smallest that its ever been. It's certainly not the night and day difference that it was between the unibody macbooks and mbps, or the ibooks and powerbooks.

    If the brighter screen is more important to you, get the 15" mpb. If portability is a bigger consideration, get the 13". Last winter, I got a good deal on a 32" display model tv. Before they boxed it up, I looked at it sitting next to a larger model costs 2.5x as much and was thinking that it was a little punk a$$ tv. I got it home, put it in my bedroom and realized that it was enormous! I'll bet the same experience will happen to you if you buy a 13".
  11. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009

    There have been people clamoring for a 15" Apple notebook that is less than $2000 who don't have a need for discrete graphics. Now it's there.

    If you have no need for the 9600M, why spend an additional $300?

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